2. Valent Representation

Yesterday I promised to give an account of valent representation. This is perhaps the core original idea of the book (though it has precedents in Ruth Millikan’s ‘pushmi-pullyu’ representations (1995) and Andy Clark’s ‘action oriented representations’ (1997)). Essentially, valent representation is representation in a valent (i.e. positive or negative) manner. …

Symposium on Joshua Shepherd’s “Halfhearted Action and Control”

Welcome to our fifth Ergo symposium. This week we are showcasing Joshua Shepherd’s paper “Halfhearted Action and Control”, with commentaries by Andreas Elpidorou (Louisville), Nora Heinzelmann (Munich), and Zachary Irving (Virginia). Let me begin by thanking all the participants for their great work! Shepherd introduces his topic with a possibly familiar …

Evolving Enactivism: An Introduction

Thanks to John Schwenkler for inviting us to guest-blog this week about our new book Evolving Enactivism: Basic Minds Meet Content (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017). It is often said that two minds are better than one. Though ‘mind’ is a count noun, we don’t imagine that people really have …

Structures of the Mind

Yesterday, I suggested that we need a theory of attention that gives attention a central place in the mind and serves as a unified framework that integrates different approaches to attention, both in philosophy and in the empirical sciences. Today, I will sketch the priority structure framework and give some …

Who needs a theory of attention?

Let me tell you about my friend Jayden: these days, Jayden gives a lot of her attention to community work. Jayden has always paid attention to what matters morally over anything else. Her attention somehow just tends to be drawn to the suffering of others. Her own achievements, by contrast, …

CFP: iCog 2017

We welcome paper proposals for the 4th iCog conference to be held at the University of Oxford, on the 17th and 18th of June, 2017. The conference will explore the role that perceptual processes play in our capacity to track and make sense of observed actions by bringing together researchers …

Morality, the Problem of Possible Future Selves, and Christmas Parables

In my 2016 book, Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory, I argue that morality is a solution to a problem of diachronic rationality called ‘the problem of possible future selves.’ To simplify (very) greatly, the problem–which is partially inspired by L.A. Paul’s groundbreaking work on transformative experience–is that (A) our present …

Symposium on Helming, Strickland, and Jacob, “Solving the Puzzle about Early Belief-Ascription”

I am very pleased to launch our latest Mind & Language symposium on Katharina A. Helming, Brent Strickland, and Pierre Jacob’s “Solving the Puzzle about Early Belief-Ascription” from the journal’s September 2016 issue, with commentaries by  Hayley Clatterbuck (Rochester), Marco Fenici (Florence), Daniel Hutto (Wollongong), Josef Perner (Salzburg), Rose Scott (UC Merced),  and Evan Westra with Peter Carruthers (Maryland).

Upcoming Events at the Brains blog

With the Minds Online conference now in the rearview mirror we are back to regular programming here at Brains, including two upcoming journal symposia and visits from the authors of several new and forthcoming books: Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday 10/11, Carl Gillett will blog for several days about his book Reduction and Emergence in …

#MindsOnline2016: Skill, Expertise, and Attention

The opening session of the 2016 Minds Online Conference, on Skill Expertise, and Attention, has begun! The talks in this session are: Keynote: “Longer, Smaller, Faster Stronger: on skills and intelligence“, by Ellen Fridland (King’s College London) “Do we reflect when performing skilful actions?”, by Juan Pablo Bermudez (Universidad Externado de Colombia) Commentators: Lieke Asma, Michael …

#MindsOnline2016: Contributed papers on Skill, Expertise, and Attention are now available!

The contributed papers and commentaries for the opening session of the 2016 Minds Online Conference, on Skill Expertise, and Attention, are now available to preview. They are: Juan Pablo Bermudez (Universidad Externado de Colombia), Do we reflect while performing skillful actions? Automaticity, control, and the perils of distraction Denis Buehler (Universidad Nacional Autónoma …